Cloudland Girls, Hampton Boys Run to Wins



Key runs were the storyline of the night Friday in Roan Mountain as the Lady ‘Landers and Bulldogs used key runs to roll to District 1-A victories inside Sonny Smith Gymnasium.

The Cloudland girls used a 12-0 run to open the game to propel them to a 67-26 victory over the Lady Bulldogs, while the Hampton boys used an 11-0 run to power them to a 56-27 win over the ‘Landers.

In the girls’ game, Cloudland took control early.

Mandy Benfield scored the first six points of the game before Gracie Freeman knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to push CHS to a 12-0 lead in the opening minutes.

Hampton got on the board when Maddi McClain hit a shot and later added a 3-pointer, but Cloudland pushed the lead to 18-5 after a quarter of play.

Points were hard to come by in the opening minutes of the second quarter as Cloudland’s Jasmine Birchfield was the lone score for the first three minutes of the period. Heaven

Caraway hit back-to-back treys for CHS to push the lead to 21 points, but McClain and the Lady Bulldogs battled back with a quick 5-0 run.

Cloudland, however, stopped the HHS run with a run of their own as CHS held a 34-13 lead at the half.

Any thought of a rally was quickly erased in the opening minutes of the third quarter.

After McClain opened the scoring with a 3-pointer, Cloudland went on a 15-2 run sparked by big shots from Benfield and Birchfield.

Nicole Guy had the lone Hampton score in the run.

The teams traded shots the rest of the way.

Benfield led Cloudland with 12 points, while Ella Benfield had 11 points. Birchfield and Freeman had 11 points apiece.

Caraway added eight points.

Hampton was paced by McClain’s 13 points. Linsey Jenkins and Guy had nine and four points, respectively.

In the boys’ game, Hampton was able to pull away from the host ‘Landers.

Cloudland took an early lead with shots from Elijah Blair and Bentley Gilbert, but Hampton countered with points from Connor Burleson and Michael Harrison.

After Parker Henry and Logan Whitehead gave Hampton an 8-5 lead, Gage McKinney knocked down a 3-pointer to even the score at 8-8 with just over three minutes to play in the first.

From there, it was all Hampton as the Bulldogs used an old-fashioned 3-pointer play from Burleson to kick off an 18-1 run that stretched midway into the second quarter.

The Hampton defense limited the Cloudland opportunities, but the CHS defense did the same from the four-minute mark as Harrison and Blair traded shots for their respective teams.

Hampton led 30-13 at the half.

Cloudland quickly cut into the lead to open the second half with shots from Gilbert and Blair, but Hampton responded in a big way as Henry kicked off a quick 10-0 run that included four points from Henry and Morgan Lyons.

From there, Hampton was able to keep Cloudland at bay.

Henry led Hampton with 10 points, while Burleson finished with nine points. Nate Wilson added eight points to the Bulldog cause.

Blair had 11 points to pace the ‘Landers. Gilbert finished with six points.

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